WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

Palestinian lives matter

25 June, 2020

• THANK you for your article on the great Marek Edelman, co-founder of the Jewish Combat Organisation, ŻOB, who was the last surviving leader of the Warsaw ghetto uprising (Ghetto blasters: when Warsaw fought back, Review, June 18).

He famously said: “To be a Jew means always being with the oppressed and never the oppressors”.

It is in that tradition we oppose the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD), whose Jewish National Fund UK (JNF) representative said a few days ago: “no Jewish groups of any type, not least of all this Board of Deputies, should give support, have any connection with or meetings with the Black Lives Matter group”.

The BoD refused point-blank to oppose the illegal Israeli annexation of Palestinian land which UN human rights experts warned amounted to “21st-century apartheid”; further, the BoD would be “delighted to work” with Tzipi Hotovely, nominated as the next Israeli ambassador to the UK, and one of the architects of the Donald Trump/Benjamin Netanyahu proposed annexation.

Over 1,500 Jewish people have signed a petition citing her “appalling record of racist and inflammatory behaviour”, and calling on the UK government to reject her nomination.

We oppose the JNF which through the Israel Land Authority controls 93 per cent of state land exclusively for persons of “Jewish nationality… in perpetuity”, permanently excluding Palestinian people from land that has been either bought under false pretences or stolen from them.

The Stop the JNF campaign is challenging its charitable status: land theft is not a charity!

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has signed up to the BoD “10 commandments” effectively giving control of Labour Party procedures to a Tory body which has blamed Palestinians for being shot and maimed by Israeli snipers, when unarmed and protesting for the right to return to their own homes.

Sir Keir’s actions are a slap in the face to Labour Party membership: at conference after conference members have been overwhelmingly anti-war, anti-occupation and anti-racist, and absolutely clear that Palestinian Lives Matter.

We will oppose any and all defenders of Israeli apartheid. Like Marek Edelman we will never be with the oppressors!

MICHAEL KALMANOVITZ
MAX GELLER
International Jewish
Anti-Zionist Network UK

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